The Cleveland Guardians announced a series of roster moves on Saturday, most notably designating outfielder Franmil Reyes for assignment and releasing first baseman Bobby Bradley. On Monday, Reyes found a landing spot, as the Chicago Cubs announced they that had claimed him off waivers from Cleveland.
Reyes, 27, entered the season as Cleveland's cleanup hitter based on his track record of above-average offensive production. In 400-plus games prior to this season, he'd hit .260/.325/.503 (121 OPS+) with 92 home runs.
Reyes was never able to get going in 2022, however. He was optioned to the minors on Tuesday after batting .213/.254/.350 (72 OPS+) with just nine home runs in 70 games. Reyes' strikeout and walk rates both took steps in the wrong direction, and he became more prone to popping up. He still hit the ball hard -- his average exit velocity was ranked in the 93rd percentile -- but it wasn't enough to overcome the aforementioned developments.
The Guardians presumably viewed Reyes, who will make more than $4.5 million this season, as a non-tender candidate. Bradley, 26, was once a touted prospect thanks to his big-time raw power. Unfortunately, his strikeout-prone ways never allowed him to establish a foothold in the majors. In 97 big-league games, he posted an 86 OPS+ and struck out in more than 37 percent of his trips to the plate.
Since demoting Reyes, the Guardians have used four different players at DH, including Josh Naylor and Owen Miller, or both parts of their first-base platoon. Cleveland promoted infield prospect Tyler Freeman to the majors on Wednesday, suggesting they could have a rotation in mind where Freeman and the other infielders -- Amed Rosario, Jose Ramirez and Andres Gimenez -- take turns serving as DH as a means of getting them all at-bats and rest.
Reyes should get at-bats with the Cubs, who entered Monday in last place in the NL Central with a 43-64 record.